Today we sit down for a cozy chat with Jessica Cale, author of some outstanding romances set in during the English Restoration. Be sure to read down and enter her Rafflecopter giveaway, too.
Yes and no. Alice and Jack developed naturally throughout the series, and they are very much themselves. The Long Way Home does feature many real historical figures such as Louis XIV and many members of his court including three of his mistresses, his brother, Monsieur, Colbert, Louvois, and the author of Cinderella, Charles Perrault. I drew inspiration from historical figures for other characters.
Alexandre Dumas pere inspired the dashing Marquis de Saint Croix, and Alice’s employer, Ysabeau, has certain things in common with Louis’ longest serving mistress, Madame de Montespan. The one exception is my great-grandfather. He makes a cameo as himself.
What is your favorite scene in this book?
There is a scene where Jack arrives late at night to escort Alice to a formal supper. They’re both dressed head to toe in finery, but they’re still very much children of a slum. Alice shows him her new shoes that she loves, and before long, he’s chasing her through the palace. There’s an otherworldly quality to the palace at night, and all the while he feels like the gods and monsters painted on the ceilings are watching him. This leads into an awkward dinner party where they are forced to behave again.
What was the hardest scene to write and why?
There were a couple of scenes in this book that were very difficult to write. Poison plays a large part, and many characters are affected by it. There is one scene in particular from the perspective of a character who has ingested a great deal of arsenic. It was difficult to imagine and properly describe how this must have felt, and harder still to grasp their thought process as it is happening — the realization they would likely die, along with fear, anger, regret. It’s a very dark scene, but it was important for the plot and to round out the picture of the Affair of the Poisons.
What, aside from writing, do you like to do best?
I like cooking for my family and friends. Especially baking. A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to become really good at making French macarons, so I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting those. We’re talking dozens of batches in all different flavors. It’s gotten to the point where I can make them from memory and I’m tired of the way they taste! I still make them for special occasions and bake sales, but I prefer photographing them to actually eating them. Everyone else still likes them, though!
After saving the life of a glamorous Marquise, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. All is not as it seems in the palace, and Alice finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.
Jack Sharpe has been given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the people he is investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.
When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?
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Jess is the award-winning author of the historical romance series, The Southwark Saga. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in North Carolina. You can visit her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale
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